THE online dating world is a thoroughly competitive arena with thousands of lovelorn romantics all competing to nag a “wink” and a “kiss” and stand out from the cyber pack.
But talk to anyone who’s had a flutter on a dating site, and they’ll inundate you with a litany of horror stories from their experience.
And according to one online blogger, men are the worst offenders.
Ouiser Boudreaux, the ghost writer behind the A(n)nals Of Online Dating, a blog which shames the worst online dating offenders, says men are constantly making the mistake of not being their “best self” online.
“I get around 100 submissions a week and 80 to 90 per cent of those are from women about heterosexual men,” says Ms Boudreaux. “Of course women offend too but in my experience, it’s the men who have to do most of the blind initial messaging, so maybe it’s a law-of-averages thing.”
“You have a lot of guys who are trying really hard to set themselves apart and end up coming off as really weird or creepy, like guys who use pickup-artist techniques online,” Ms Boudreaux told AskMen. “And then you have guys who say or do things online that they would never do face-to-face, because it would be too awkward.” Her advice to overcome this?
“Be nice. Be genuine. Be directly responsive to items in the profile of the woman you’re interested in. Keep the conversation appropriate and don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say to a new ‘real-life’ acquaintance.”
Here are the six most common mistakes men make when online dating:
POSTING UNREALISTIC, UNCLEAR AND PLAIN BAD PHOTOS
The number one trait women find attractive in men is BEING ATTRACTIVE. Keeping this in mind, for women there’s nothing worse than thinking they’re going to meet the Prince Charming they conversed with online, only to see Prince Charles turn up for coffee. Guys, you need to realise that lulling your potential date into a false sense of expectation is going to backfire the minute she meets the real you. Posting a photo taken 10 years/10 kilos ago which is not an accurate representation of your current self, will only make a bad first impression. First impressions are everything. Don’t blow it by disappointing her. Show her the REAL you and you’ll be more likely to find a match.
Don’t:“Post photos with your shirt off (ugghh),” says online dater Heidi.
“Post photos of yourself doing extreme sports (can there really be that many heli-skiers in Sydney?),” she adds.
Post photos of the much younger, slimmer, fitter version of you (she’s going to find out your penchant for poptarts when she meets you).
Do: Post a happy, handsome, recent photo. That’s it! That’s the brief! Stick to it and you’re more likely to end up with a perfect match #winning.
Guys, how many times do we have to tell you? No one likes a creeper. While you may think you’re being smart, savvy or sexy by flooding a girl with persistent flattering messages – you’re actually being none of those things. You’re just setting yourself up as desperate, dateless and clutching at straws. Wait for the moment to tell her she is amazing and wonderful and your dream cyber girl – she’ll appreciate it more when she gets to know you.
Online dater, Lucy, 24, recalls her pet peeve: “Hands down worst online dating faux pas would be creepy persistence. Buddy, I’ve declined your invitation once don’t make me do it again. No amount of ‘kisses’, emails, access to your hidden photos is going to make me change my mind. So please take a hint and be on your way.”
Don’t:Inundate girls with weird persistent, creepy messages about how beautiful and amazing they are when they haven’t even responded your request. (this will be met with an immediate “back off”).
Be vulgar or overtly sexual when you’re getting to know someone (you’ll come off as only looking for one thing).
Use pickup-artist techniques online (they won’t work and they look rehearsed).
Ask girls to send you photos of them in bikinis (creeper alert!)
Do:Be subtle and sincere with your compliments and your affection.
BORING HER SILLY
“Hey, what are you up to?” or “Hi, how was your weekend?” isn’t exactly going to set her world on fire. You sound like a teenage text addict with nothing better to do than check up on her. Read her profile carefully, comment on things, have a personality! Now we’re talking! PLUS rev up your profile a little. Sell yourself. This is a job interview for a relationship with a wonderful lady friend, after all. Describing yourself as someone who “likes to watch movies, hang out with friends” will only make you sound like the 103,470 other people with online profiles. Give them a reason to want to get to know you. Women want a guy with emotion, feeling and a little bit of romance. But DON’T forget tip number two, don’t be creepy in your brave attempt to overcome boring.
Don’t: Write generic messages with “hi” or “hey” or leave no subject in the headline – be original.
Treat her like she is the same as every other girl you’re currently interested in – be thorough and thoughtful.
Do: Get on with it already! (Make a move if you think she’s interested and then win her over with your humour and personality.
Read her profile carefully, ask questions, let her know that you’re interested in HER. Not just any woman with a heartbeat and online profile.
BEING A GENERAL DOUCHEBAG
This one sounds simple, but many men find it hard to avoid “douchebaggery” in their quest to impress. Yes you may own a yacht in the South Pacific, or you may be the reigning world fussball champion, but don’t put this on your profile. Give it time and don’t come off as holier than thou. You also might have great arms, but don’t flex your guns in your profile photo. A shirtless profile photo like that comes with an immediate warning to STAY AWAY (see tip one). Don’t write things like this either: “I will cuddle you until you file a restraining order against me. It is that serious. I will smother your a–.” Douchebag material.
One thing about men that annoys online dater, Heidi is: “Being super OTT about how much they earn and how amazing their lives are. There’s a lot to be said for just a little modesty guys! Also, I had this one guy say to me ‘I like your tale… Let’s talk about caramels sometime?’ And another one say ‘hey cutie we should talk. I’m bisexual, not sure you can handle that.’ Gonks.”
Don’t: “Chest-beat” about your income or your success. Your lifestyle and the choices you make will reflect this.
Brag or boast or big-note yourself – you WILL come off as a douchebag.
Do: Be modest. Modesty is the best policy.
NOT KNOWING YOUR TARGET MARKET AND BEING DISHONEST
Guys, you’re here to find a match. It takes two to tango, so actually read her profile and see if you are what she’s after. If not, you’re wasting your time. As Kaz puts it: “Actually read the girl’s profiles you are ‘chatting’ with, don’t just look at their picture. If they specifically say they want someone aged between 25 and 30, never married and you are 45 and divorced with kids… really??” Live within your means. If a girl says she wants someone tall, be upfront if you’re 5 foot 5 inches (165cm). She probably wants someone with a bit of height because she’s a little lengthy herself. Respect her likes and dislikes and don’t assume she NEEDS to meet you. You won’t be compatible with every woman in cyberspace.
Don’t: Brag or boast – you will come off as a douchebag
Approach girls who are clearly not looking for some
Lie about your circumstances, age, height, weight, income etc.
Do: Be sincere, friendly and honest
NOT TAKING ACTION
You’ve avoided everything we just talked about, good job! So technically you’re at the final hurdle – don’t mess it up now. When you’ve convinced your lady friend that you’re interested, likeable and charming, you need to meet up. So when you think you might finally have a bite, act on it! Don’t email her forever. Emailing is not the new coffee. Step out from behind the keyboard and meet her in a real-life, no-pressure date. There’s nothing worse than looking for a relationship and ending up with an online pen pal.
Don’t: Email back-and-forth for eternity
Take a long time to get back to her or ask her out – she will move on and lose interest
Do:Ask her out for a simple, no-pressure date when you’ve gotten to know each other a little
Culled from http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/the-six-biggest-online-dating-mistakes-men-make/story-fnet0gly-1226509346397